Daily Archives: August 16, 2013

FinFisher Commercializing Digital Spying – How You can be a Victim?


FinFisher is surveillance software by Gamma International UK Ltd marketing the surveillance solutions to government security officials through exploiting security lapses in anti-virus programs. It is basically a spyware suite designed to allow someone to spy on a computer or mobile device. Described by the company as “Governmental IT Intrusion and Remote Monitoring Solutions”, FinFisher has its command and control servers installed in around 36 countries globally, according to a report and analysis by Citizen Lab. Pakistan is one of those countries, and Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) owns the network where FinFisher server is found.

The FinSpy malware – tool of FinFisher intrusion kit – was often injected in the potential victims’ machines by sending them malicious email. In the analysis, Citizen Lab found that email addresses which were used to send these emails were on the names of some popular Read the rest of this entry

The festivity and brutality of Bakra Eid in Pakistan


Published on The Alternative.

The only time, in Pakistan, we talk exclusively about animals and pretend to care about them (by ultimately killing and eating them) is Eid-ul-Azha. Eid-ul-Adha (locally called Bakraa Eid) and also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is a Muslim festival that marks the end of pilgrimage to Makkah, KSA, and commemorates Abraham’s faith by showing his willingness to sacrifice his own son Ishmael on the orders of God.

It is a three day long festival which starts with a morning sermon and prayers in the mosque, followed by sacrificing an animal, distributing its meat and then having a feast with family and friends. The meat of the animal is divided into three equal parts: the self, for relatives, neighbours and the poor. Sweet vermicelli, dates, rice desserts and other traditional sweet dishes are prepared as well.

The best part of Bakraa Eid that I used to like when I was a child, and I still see little children enjoying now, is getting new pets, feeding them and having fun with them till the day of Eid when eventually little hearts get broken by their murder. Read the rest of this entry

Does changing the script kill the language?


Note: Before I get attacked by the linguist-purists (if that’s a term), I am making it clear that I am NOT an expert on any language(s), nor this is any sort of an opinion post. I am most of the time an end user and sadly, I belong to the generation which feels sh*t to speak in its regional/native languages.

It was during a social media summit organized here in Pakistan when a debate on using regional languages for weblogs and epapers came in discussion. From the comments of not getting much viewership because the Google’s default English search to getting writers type in those languages was being discussed. I suggested how Romanized (representation of the spoken or written word using Latin script) versions of languages could have a better reach to younger readers and also easier to be typed into computers. The purists’ approach is to never play with the language script or it dies. Recently, this hard stand is being fought against though.

Do languages really die when their script changes? Read the rest of this entry

انٹرنیٹ کی سکیور براؤزنگ کرنے کے لئے نعے سال کے ١٠عزم

.یہ ترجمہ گلوبل وائسز کے لئے کیا گیا تھا. بلاگپوسٹ کے لکھاری ہشام المرات ہیں
Global Voices Advocacy  پے ہم نے ہمیشہ انٹرنیٹ پے اظہار ے آزادی پے فوکس کیا ہے. ہم اپنے فیلو انٹرنیٹ یوزرز کی انٹرنیٹ پے سیکورٹی, censorship سے بچنے اور خود کو محفوظ کرنے کے لئے گائیڈز اور ٹولز پبلش کرتے رہے ہیں.

ہمارا اس نعے سال 2013 میں بھی یہی عزم ہے کہ ہم آپ کے حقوق کی حفاظت کرتے رہیں. اس کے لئے ہم رپورٹس اور گائیڈز پبلش کرتے رہینگے جو کہ citizen privacy journalism، online activism، surveillance، anonymity، advocacy جیسے بیشتر ایریاز پے مشتمل ہونگی.

سال ٢٠١٢ کے ختم ہونے کہ ساتھ ہم اپنے ریڈرز کے لئے ١٠ ایسی ریزولوشن پیش کر رہے ہیں جو مختلف ٹولز اور سٹریٹیجیز کے ذریعے آپ کو آن لائن اپنی حفاظت کرنے میں مدد کرینگی. ہمیشہ یہ یاد رکھیے کے کوئی بھی ایک تکنیک یا طریقہ آپ کو ١٠٠% تحفظ دینے کا واعدا نہیں کرسکتا. ہر وقت اپنے شعور اور ادراک سے خود کو مسلح رکھیں.

#1 موبائل فون استعمال کرتے وقت اپنی شناخت کو چھپائیں – Read the rest of this entry